When the design team at World Cat decided to build a crossover fishing boat for flats and offshore they didn't kid around. The World Cat 230CC has the draft of a flats boat, the roominess of a center console, the legs for long distance, and the rough comfort of a deep-V. Seriously? Can all this really come together in one boat? We asked the same question when we set out to test this model from World Cat and the answer is a resounding… Yes! (Formerly known as the Carolina Cat 23CC).
- Bow area anchor locker under forward center seat
- Port and starboard forward 150-quart insulated fishboxes with overboard drains
- Bow area cushioned seating for (5) adults with integrated grab rails
- Through-bolted stainless bow eye
- Console storage for a slide-out portable head (starboard side)
- Electronics mounting area for a 12-inch screen
- Aft deck non-skid casting platform
- 30-gallon livewell between aft flip-up seats, lighted with overboard drain and fiberglass lid
|Length Overall||22' 7'' / 6.88 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||2.6 sec.|
|0 to 30||7.6 sec.|
|Load||2 persons, full fuel, no water, gear 50 lbs|
|Climate||55 deg., 60% humid.; wind: 5-10 mph; seas: light chop|
2 x 115-hp Yamaha four-stroke
2 x 115-hp Yamaha four-stroke
|Hull Warranty Extended||10 year limited|
The mission of the 230CC is to provide the main attributes of four distinctive types of boats into one all-purpose boat. World Cat seems to have pulled it off and given us a boat that 1) can get into very shallow water, 2) has a range of nearly 300 miles at best cruise, 3) exhibits the handling the ride capabilities necessary in offshore conditions and, 4) has the combined roominess of a center console and a deckboat.
• Twin engines on a 23-footer. This is far and away from the main feature that cats bring to the table that no monohull can touch. Just try to find the 23-foot center console with twin engines.
• Redundant systems. These two engines are connected to independent fuel systems and separate electrical systems. A failure in one system leaves a second in play. Unless you manage to fill both tanks with contaminated fuel from the same marina it would be a rare occurrence indeed to find yourself without the ability to have this boat get you home.
• 10-year structural hull warranty. Aside from the security of completely redundant systems, few things will give you a comfort level like a company that stands behind its product.
• Seating for 10. No problem loading this boat up with your friends and family. Bring them on! And remember, this is a 23-footer.
• Stability. When anchored, trolling or in a sloppy seaway lateral stability is an important feature and this 23' cat has it.
• Offshore or inshore. Her low draft makes her an inshore boat but because she is a cat and has relatively high bows she can handle offshore conditions from both sea-keeping and comfort standpoints.
Performance and Handling
Our World Cat 230CC had a length overall of 22'7" (6.88 m), a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m) and a hull draft of 9” (23 cm). With an empty weight of 4,000 lbs (1,814 kg), two people and test power we had a test weight of 5,024 lbs. (2,278 kg).
Speed and fuel burn. With a pair of 115-hp Yamaha 4-strokes bolted to the stern we reached a top speed at 6000 rpm of 44.7 mph. At that speed, fuel burn was 20.5 gph giving us a range of 188 miles. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 19 mph. That speed gave us a fuel burn of only 5.55 gph for a range of 295 miles or over 17 hours of running time. We had a very quick time the plane of 2.6 seconds, reached 20 mph in 4.5 seconds and accelerated to 30 mph in 7.6 seconds. These are pretty impressive numbers no matter how you slice it. Upon acceleration, the 230CC exhibits a 10–degree bow rise.
Handling. Let’s get right to the meat of it and discuss this boat’s most surprising characteristic: her handling capabilities. As is characteristic of catamarans you'll remain level during a slow turn but lean 10-degrees into a hard over high-speed turn. When you take power off, she settles back into the water at a level attitude.
But as impressive as those numbers were, I was completely blown away by what was to come next. I have tested my share of boats designed to operate in skinny water and they all seem to share the same attributes... a relatively flat hull that goes where few others can, but is just not able to handle anything more than the average wake of a passing bowrider. So with that attribute firmly planted in my head, I started zigzagging across the wake of the camera boat. The experience was surprisingly anti-climactic. None of the expected pounding, spray coming and over the rails, or squirrely handling… it was as if the wake didn't exist.
Don't Try This at Home.
I spotted the cross-sound ferry about 5 miles (6.4 km) distant and even at this range, I could clearly see the turmoil she was generating behind her. Perfect! I put the throttles to the stops and blasted to the ferry and its 3-4’ (9 m-1.2 m) wake that was following closely behind. Here is where I was able to test exactly what this 230CC was capable of in steadily increasing increments to the edge of her performance envelope. I started out slowly going over the waves and found that the 230CC still tends to slice through the waves. This is consistent with other cats that I've tested with their narrow bows. I've also found that when encountering waves, slowing down is not necessarily the correct response. So I started adding power.
I found that approaching a wave at high speed had me bracing for impact that just never came. The 230CC would slice through and just continue on. Still adding more power the 230CC would continue to cut through the waves and then launch into the air, remaining in a level attitude, before cleanly slicing through the next wave. It was remarkable to see that the more that I gave, the more positively the 230CC responded. Clearly, this shallow draft boat can handle herself quite well in offshore conditions.
In a seaway, she clearly will not exhibit the pounding characteristics of a flats boat. The narrow entry that catamarans have simply cut easily through waves because the hulls are so narrow. Further, when they come down there are no large, flat surfaces to slam the water.
There's a large casting deck at the bow measuring 28" x 5' 9” (71 cm x 1.75 m). 6” (15.2 cm) pull-up cleats are to either side and in the forward corners are separate nav lights that I would like to see flush-mounted.
The bow features U-shaped seating topped with comfortable cushions with added support under the legs. There's storage under the center seat and to port and starboard are 150-quart (142 L) insulated fish boxes with overboard drains.
There's enough seating here for five adults and because the seating runs from 35” (88.9 cm) to 27 ½” (69.8 cm) apart, I'd like to see World Cat offer a bow pedestal table as an option. With the cushions removed the nonskid hatch covers created another elevated casting deck and recessed grab rails will keep lines from snagging. An LED courtesy light is fully forward and shining onto the deck.
I measured 17” (43.2 cm) between the bow seats and the forward console seat, and 2’ (.6 m) between the console and the bulwarks. Caprails come up 22” (55.9 cm) from the deck and that height seems to be consistent all the way back to the stern. The forward seat is atop a cooler which is molded into the console and deck and includes stainless grab handles to either side. Our test boat was fitted with the optional t-top with canvas overhead and aluminum frames with spotlight bracket.
The leaning post is nicely padded and there's room underneath for a carry-on cooler. The helm is mounted to the port side of the console and the stainless steel wheel is connected to a single ram hydraulic steering. The acrylic windshield is wraparound and presents minimal distortion at the corners. A storage shelf is underneath the helm along with a recessed foot well. To the port side of the console is a hatch leading to interior storage.
The stern features two flip-up seats with storage underneath. With the seats in the closed position, you have a large aft casting platform measuring 7' x 2' 7” (2.13 m x 2.58 m). Including the extended deck between the engines, you have 4’3” (1.3 m). In between the two seats is a 30 gallon (113.6 L) livewell with an overboard drain and fiberglass lid.
Because the World Cat 230CC comes so nicely equipped, there are not a lot of options you will need beyond the t-top and perhaps a trailer. There's no denying that this is probably one of the most qualified boats out there to utilize the term "crossover" as she is so capable in so many things. And regardless of how messy you get her, a simple hose down will return her to her gleaming white.
I can think of a lot of places where there is good game for fishing in both skinny water and blue water. Unfortunately, I have seen all too many anglers venturing out into blue water with their flats boats. This is not a good idea on anything except a flat calm day. Flats boats were simply not intended to be used offshore and do not have the design characteristics for that kind of work.
The World Cat 230CC, on the other hand, has what it takes to handle both conditions and therein lies one of the most important values of this boat -- she does both well.